BRIAN RICE called on eleven warriors to take the field against Cove Rangers and that is exactly what he got as Alloa beat the Toonsers 1-0.

The gaffer praised each and every man for not putting a foot wrong as Conor Sammon scored his sixth match winner for the Wasps.

PJ Morrison started in goal behind an unchanged back three of Scott Taggart, Morgyn Neill and Josh Debayo.

Kevin Cawley and Euan Deveney came into the squad and started on the wings, flanking a midfield of Kurtis Roberts and Steven Hetherington.

Stefan Scougall remained in the number 10 position behind a front two of Conor Sammon and Taylor Steven.

The first real chance for Cove came as Scott Williamson turned around Morgyn Neill and squared it to ex-Wasp Mitch Megginson who gets past PJ Morrison. He’s about to unleash his shot as Debayo slides in with a perfectly timed tackle to clear the danger.

Debayo received some medical attention not long after and was deemed unable to continue, being replaced by David Devine before the half hour mark.

Alloa had claims for a penalty waived away after a touch on Deveney, instead going behind the goal for a corner kick.

The resulting corner was met by Scott Taggart who feeds it into Conor Sammon for the Irishman to score the only goal of the match.

“It was always going to be difficult against Cove,” Rice told Advertiser Sport. “They’ve got some really good players and Paul [Hartley] has always got them well set up.

“I wanted the boys to go out the day and just out work them, out run them and I think we got that today.

“We got some good play as well. We tired pretty badly, it was warm out there and we had to do a lot of defending in the second half.

“The goalie hasn’t really had a real save to make. We’ve scored a goal, we’ve won the game and it’s a big three points for us.”

Alloa were strong on the attack in the first half and defended very well to retain their league in the second half. Cove had their fair share of chances but a couple of routine stops from Morrison kept them out.

During the second half, Cove maintained their pressure on Alloa’s backline but the Wasps refused to be beaten, with Morrison denying Paul McGowan as play resumed.

Rice praised the team for giving it their all from the first whistle to the last as they held Cove off to keep a hold on their lead.

Rice added: “I think the starters did it, I think the substitutes did it. I think everyone went out there and they gave it everything they’ve got.

“That’s all I ask for them to do. I very rarely question their attitude and their application because they’re a great bunch to work with.

“I just felt as if we were shooting ourselves in the foot and we’ve spoken about this for a couple weeks now.

“We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot today. We got the goal and a goal our player deserved in the first half.

“We got a bit nervous and I can understand that given the way the recent results have been and that’s when I need the supporters behind us to give the players a lift.

“I’ll never please everybody but all I need to do is get a result on the pitch because those boys deserve a result for the work they put in through the week.

“This isn’t just about the first team, this is about the club, the community, everybody and we all need to pull in the same direction whether I’m in charge or not.

“It’s all about the club. The club will be here when I’m not here. We’ve got to make sure that we can do the best that we can to give the supporters a good Saturday night and I think we did that today.”

Alloa will have a week off now with their SPFL Trust Trophy match against Rangers B rescheduled for September 26.

Alloa’s bench received a big boost with the welcome return of Luke Donnelly and Jon Robertson. Donnelly was left out of the squad against Falkirk last week with a knock and Robertson was making his return from a long injury sustained in April.

David McKay and Bradley Rodden were both missing from the squad today, with the gaffer hoping to use the break to have the squad back as much as possible.

“We’ll probably play a bounce game through the week,” Rice added. “I’ve got boys coming back from injury. I’ve got a few injuries, we’ve got Covid in the camp as well.

“The team has changed two or three times this week due to personnel but we’ve got [Luke] Donnelly back on the pitch today.

“We’ve got Jon Robertson in the squad today so that was good, that was positive. Next week, we’ll really work hard then we’ll play a bounce game through the week before we go to Hamilton.”

It was a huge three points for Alloa, who will look to use the break to re-energise and regroup before a tough visit to Hamilton.

The Accies have been flying following their demotion into League One, winning four and only dropping points against Stirling Albion, who they drew 2-2 with.